Today was technically the second day of the new semester, but the first day for me. Jumping back into classes is always difficult before adding on the fact that it’s at 8:15 am and in another language. I spent last semester taking language courses and am now faced with actual content courses, although I was pleasantly surprised when I recognized a couple faces in class. Today’s class reinforced what a good choice it was to come for a year. If I’d left at the end of last semester, I would have gone home a better French speaker and more knowledgeable about basic cultural differences, but I wouldn’t have become the best I could be. Last semester, I was just getting started.
I’m going to be honest and say that I didn’t give too much thought to studying abroad for a year rather than one semester, despite how much I reassured my mom that I had really thought this through. When it comes to opportunities that I may never have again, I’m not the kind of person to sit and think about it too hard before making a decision. So when my dad asked why I was going for a semester like everyone else instead of a year, I just kind of went with it. I will forever be thankful for my dad’s suggestion (even though my mom didn’t appreciate it and blames him for me missing Christmas).
I’m exciting to be getting back to school work, although getting back into the groove of things will be extremely difficult. I spent the nearly two months I had off school to travel with my friend around Europe and explore more of the city I live in, not to mention I had the first opportunity in eight years to go skiing! Despite the many opportunities I had, my dwindling money resource was an obstacle that left me with a lot of down time in which I watched an ample amount of TV and finished a very large puzzle. Now that classes are back, I have realized how much I let myself slip.
Along with starting back to school, I’m also trying to work my way into the group of newbies that have arrived. It’s actually proving to be a bit difficult because the newcomers are using their shared experiences of settling into Fribourg as a way to bond, much as us old students did so many months ago. Unfortunately, this leaves the group of us who have already planted ourselves here are mostly set aside as our own group. Added to that is the strangeness that the new students are essentially replacing some of last semester’s friends. However, I vow to do anything I can to make it a smooth transition for the new students. Coming from someone who doesn’t always do the best in social situations, fingers cross we all come out of this with new friends and great memories.